Drama is overrated

Three Word Wednesday



If this were a movie, then I’d be sitting on a battered chair, in an unheated room, squinting in the guttering flicker of a candle stump while I crumple successive sheets of paper and then angrily throw them onto the floor. Writing takes commitment and the nerve to take chances at bringing your thoughts to life. Now that every illicit – and then some – deed can be found in the truly staggeringly enormous web of computer connections, the art of writing is both flourishing and dying.

Can a writer claim the mantle of starving if a computer is used?

Where is the struggle and conflict if spell-check corrects your draft? If Word formats for grammar? If with a click of the mouse every possible scenario is available for study?

I would state that the answer is still yes. I’m not starving by any means and the drama of crumpled paper is fiction because when a writer had to buy said paper it was too precious to waste. It is still yes even though I don’t have to resort to illicit gains in order to finance my obsession; merely push the on-button to activate the computer. Although, writing is still very, very hard on the nerves.

In many ways, writing in the modern computer age is more difficult than ever. Not only are there so many more distractions to overcome but because of the mechanical ease and with limitless resources available, failing to write something, anything, makes a writer feel unworthy of the title.

By Rose D. Kaye, February 4th, 2009


16 thoughts on “Drama is overrated

  1. Hello RDK,

    Good essay; I have thought very similar thoughts but you have said them very nicely.

    I don’t worry about Word too much; It doesn’t know that many words and its grammar is too formulaic. Which is what grammar is, except when it’s English. We have exceptions. Besides, characters don’t all talk so good.

    My worry is that I e-scratch the itch with my e-placebo. Creating, but not really.

    That worries me.

    I have to get back to work, but part of me will stay in this conversation for a while. I ought to thank you, and I have to work.


  2. It’s very true that ‘writers’ are harder on themselves than even *gasp* editors! We tend to despair when the perfect words are not flowing and we resort to cliche and artifice.



  3. Since coming to the blogosphere I think my writing has increased, with criticism keeping me steady, which is a good thing. But then again, it’s got shorter, which may be a bad thing.
    I’ll chew on it.
    Great essay.

  4. maybe a masterpiece is no masterpiece without the angst

    … and what happens when you can no longer bear sitting in front of a computer screen

    … and as for those distractions, ‘you have mail’, or a peek at facebook, or online shopping or IM.

    I haven’t posted poetry in a long time, not because I haven’t written any but because I’ve resorted to this old fashioned method called pencil and paper; so much easier since the words seem to come to me in the middle of the night.

    anyway sweetie, stop whinging about unworthiness… it doesn’t become you

  5. I don’t think the art of writing is dying, but it is being drowned in a sea of crap. Pull on the boots and wade through and the good stuff is there to be read.

    The struggle: the willingness to wade through and the integrity to work at craft even when it’s so easy to drop a load.

  6. There are still days when I compose on a notepad. Funny, when I first started as a journalist (take the way-back machine to when I was 14) and I needed to write my entire story on a legal pad before sitting down to the typewriter. In college, I was able to write papers on the typewriter. Now, I open that blank of white in Word and see what happens. And, usually, it’s been good.

    Everything changes. You can change with it, but you can still go back to the old ways. That’s why I still like writing real letters to people.

  7. i think about this often,, how the advent of the internet has brought all of us closet writers out into the open… it is evidently not as hidden a talent as we thought it was in the dark ages,, and all of us are one hit wonders,, but none of us are being published for cash… just makes me wonder…… excellent post rose….

  8. “… but because of the mechanical ease and with limitless resources available, failing to write something, anything, makes a writer feel unworthy of the title.” … that resonated, all right :p

    I think you capture a lot of the debate, or conflict, I feel as a wannabe writer.

  9. Tonight I’m going to content myself with having read and enjoyed both Drama Is Over- rated and the comments. I forget the name of the poet who lamented the fact that he had not deserted poetry, but that poetry deserted him. In a sense, I feel somewhat the same but at a loss to put the feeling into words. Logic and common sense controls my thinking, but logic is poor gift to the writer with a yearning to write with a poetical flair. However, I’m enjoying your work, Rose, and that of other blog friends.

  10. We may no longer have the drama of the typewriter, tangled ribbon, and crumpled paper, but now we have the drama of expectations. There is no longer any excuse to be less than perfect, and with everyone in competition for the same brass ring, the pressure can be enormous.

  11. The computer is convenient, but there are times I miss the crumpled paper. Many times I delete something I wish I had saved…with the crumpled paper, I still could’ve fished it out of the trash can.

    And I go through reams and reams of ‘cut and pastes’!

  12. notepads are great, and writing on the computer does take less effort, but the challenge of actual writing is still present.
    I think I save a lot more things than I would if it was printed.
    But it is fun to have it all at the click of a finger instead of digging through a box.

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